Ever since Ted Batchelor was a kid, he knew he had one purpose in life – to light himself on fire. The 51-year old Guinness World Record holder added another notch to his fireproof belt this past Saturday when he became the first person to ever circle the bases at a professional field while completely engulfed in flames. So tough luck to all of us who had Alex Rodriguez in our human torch betting pools.
The stunt was part of a promotion by the Savannah Sand Gnats, and after they defeated the Kannapolis Intimidators 8-2, it was Batchelor’s turn to step to the plate. Lucky fan Chris Corey’s name was drawn at random to set Batchelor ablaze, and then the packed house at Grayson Stadium watched in awe, horror and whatever else as Batchelor rounded the bases, pumping his fists and celebrating all of the human flame groupie poon that would be undoubtedly be flung at him after he was extinguished.
Let’s get a donkey at this Batchelor party, MinorLeagueBaseball.com:
For Batchelor, this stunt was a long time coming. “This stunt was something I’ve wanted to do since 1977. I’m very thankful to the Sand Gnats and this whole organization,” he said afterwards. “It was a magical thing to come out of the dugout and grab a bat and go to home plate. It was very strange to see both clubs out there watching. It was cool to watch these minor leaguers watching me. As a baseball fan, I’m in awe of their talent.” The experienced stuntman was pleased with the stunt itself as well, saying “It felt great.”
Gnats team President John Katz was jubilant, “That might just have been the coolest thing I’ve ever seen at a baseball field, bar none.”
Responded Kirk Gibson, Bucky Dent, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig, Ozzie Smith, Ichiro Suzuki, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Joe Carter, the 2005 Chicago White Sox, 20 pitchers who have thrown perfect games, Ken Griffey Jr., Pete Rose, and various other record holders and all-around badass baseball legends, “Aw, schucks.”
Batchelor’s other world record is for “Longest Full-Body Burn Without Oxygen” for which he withstood 2 minutes and 57 seconds of asinine behavior.
(Video via NBC Sports)